Honda confident of 2018 reliability improvements
Wednesday, 11 October 2017
Chris Medland / Image by Tee/LAT
Honda is confident it will be able to improve its reliability record next season as a result of having a stable baseline to work with over the winter.
In its three years with McLaren, Honda has struggled for reliability as it attempts to close the gap to the other power unit manufacturers. This year saw a change in power unit concept but the reliability problems remained, with Fernando Alonso being hit with a 35-place grid penalty at last weekend's Japanese Grand Prix due to a power unit change.
Honda's head of F1 project Yusuke Hasegawa said he was "ashamed" of the penalty during the race weekend, but he believes retaining the current power unit concept for next season will lead to a clear step forward in terms of reliability.
"This year, the biggest issue was we couldn't confirm the base power unit from the start," Hasegawa told RACER. "So all the time we needed to develop and we needed to update, and introduce [updates] at a grand prix before we could confirm the reliability or the performance.
"For next year, of course we haven't confirmed it yet, but at least we have the baseline that is the current engine. So we can use this engine at least, and we can circulate our development in the background. Then as soon as we have confirmed the reliability and the performance, we can introduce it at the grand prix.
"That way we have got more room to consider the performance and reliability before introducing upgrades."
Honda will supply Toro Rosso in 2018 after ending its partnership with McLaren early, but Hasegawa recently said the focus was to avoid penalties in order to score as many points as possible with its current team. Reflecting on the performance in Japan, he admits Alonso's grid drop cost the team a chance of good points.
"The car showed some good pace [at Suzuka]. I think we were quicker than Williams, quicker than Haas and quicker than Renault. So I think we had the performance to score a point if we had a good start."
With both Haas cars scoring points in Japan, McLaren is now 20 points behind the seventh-placed US outfit in the constructors' championship, with Haas jumping one place and one point ahead of Renault.
Ne znam sta je ovaj gledao, ali oba Hasa su zavrsila u bodovima dok Meklareni nisu bili u stanju da preteknu Vilijamse - Alonso Masu a Stof Strola (dok ovom nije pukla guma). Hulk je isto bio vrlo brz u trci dok nije odustao zbog kvara, a Palmer zaista nije merilo kvaliteta Remoovog bolida. Imali smo dobar rezultat u kvalifikacijama (sjeban kaznom za Alonsa i losim startom Stofa) ali daleko je sve to od decidirane tvrdnje da smo brzi od Vilijamsa, Hasa i Renoa (nekako je Hasegava zaboravio tu da pomene i STR, njegove buduce klijente)...